LEBANON — Katie Mayhue sprung up off the mat, with an emphatic “let’s go” to follow, after a successful clearance that made her a district champion.
The South Albany High senior came out on top of a competitive girls high jump field to win at the Mid-Willamette Conference track and field championships at Heath Stadium.
Mayhue clinched her spot at state as one of three athletes to clear 5 feet, 1 inch, the 5A automatic qualifying standard for next week’s OSAA state meet at Hayward Field in Eugene.
But her first-attempt clearance at 5-2 – in a pouring rain – left her standing alone for the victory.
“I was in rhythm. I knew it was going to be a make,” Mayhue said. “I already made it to state, so I just got to relax.”
Mayhue’s season is coming together at the right time. She also cleared 5-2, tying her personal best, a week earlier.
“I almost had 5-4 both meets, so I just need to have my head right at state,” she said. “And hopefully the rain isn’t coming, because it was pretty hard to jump in the rain.”
The top two placers in each event – as well as those reaching qualifying standards or receiving a wild card berth – advance to next week’s 5A state meet.
Lebanon senior Hannah Mason earned her spot at state with a runner-up finish in the 1,500 meters.
Mason finished strong over the last 100 to pass Crescent Valley freshman Sunitha Black, whose strength was escaping her after nearly a mile on the track.
“I felt like it went well. It was a good race,” Mason said. “(Black) is really good. It was a good pack to race with. She’s really fast, too.”
Mason said she felt strong and is hoping to carry that over to next week.
South Albany’s Emileigh Wuerst was a little hesitant using a pole different than the one she had used in recent pole vault competitions.
The new pole was a heavier one and she wasn’t used to running with it. But the adrenaline kicked in, and Wuerst set a new personal best to take second at 10-3.
“The last couple times I used that pole it did not work out. I did not do good,” Wuerst said. “I’ve been avoiding this pole, too, and it just happened to be the one.”
Teammate Keyanie Guyette was third, also at 10-3, to share the Rebels’ new school record. It was Guyette who encouraged Wuerst to try the pole vault.
“We push each other really hard. If she wasn’t there, I don’t think I would be here today,” Wuerst said.
Lebanon's Hanna Davis was third (49,43) and South Albany's Annie Taylor fourth (50.63) in the 300 hurdles.
Corvallis was the girls team champion. Lebanon finished fourth and South Albany seventh.
South Albany senior Logan Whittaker put up his best triple jump mark on his first attempt and no one could touch it.
Whittaker’s winner at 42-2-¾ was a personal best and the conference’s best mark of the season.
“It was about a foot PR from my last one … which is awesome,” said Whittaker, also Wednesday’s high jump winner and was fifth in Thursday’s 110 hurdles final.
He was recognized for his high-meet total of 24 points.
Teammate Bradley Johnston had a busy and successful day.
Johnston started by anchoring South’s 4x100 relay team (45.07) to second place after some disqualifications among teams that placed ahead of the Rebels.
He later finished fourth in the 400 (52.15), won the 300 hurdles (41.37) with a strong finish and anchored the 4x400 team to seventh (3:42.56).
Lebanon’s Raymond Knuth was second in the 100 (11.31). Teammate Kyler Alley was runner-up in the javelin (146-2).
Silverton was the boys team champion. South Albany was fifth and Lebanon sixth.